BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gavin Rose has accused National League chiefs of a lack of planning – with Dulwich Hamlet finding it tough to nail down their plans for the 2020-21 season.
The South London club have not played since the middle of March as the coronavirus pandemic saw the non-league campaign ended.
And there is no start date yet for when the new season will begin – with clubs lower down the football pyramid dependent on supporters attending. Hamlet are one of the best supported clubs outside of the EFL and had a crowd of 2,376 at their last home fixture against Hemel Hempstead Town.
“It is disappointing – I feel there is a lack of leadership from the league,” said Dulwich manager Rose. “Look, it’s a tough time for everyone but you’ve got to understand that for players this is their livelihood. They earn a certain level of income and we can’t afford a deal when we don’t know what our risks are – no fans, some fans or all of our fans.
“It’s very difficult for us to set out any type of budget and have a confident conversation.
“I understand it is tough out there. But they need to start putting themselves in the shoes of the players, who are sitting in limbo. Managers are stuck between a rock and a hard place without being able to make a plan.”
Dulwich were 16th in the National League South table when it was brought to an abrupt halt.
Rose said: “At the time we were in a global pandemic – so you are thinking it is fair enough on health reasons. But how many months are we on from there? It’s August and the clarity about next season is nowhere near further down the line than when we ended the season back then.
“The careers of players and the respect they get is not quite as high as it is at the top of the pyramid.
“All we’ve been told is that there will be supporters at our games but that doesn’t give us anything else – it is a third, half or all? We were supposed to be starting training next Tuesday but because of the return to play that you have to do for a pandemic we’ve decided to move that back two weeks so that we’re more informed.
“It may give the players a better opportunity to know what they are signing up to as well.
“It’s not great. I hope it is something we look back on and think ‘that was an interesting time’. But as a manager, this hasn’t been great at all.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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